NEW YORK, NY - MAY 22:  Darren Aronofsky discusses "The Business" and National Geographic "One Strange Rock" with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation at NYIT Auditorium on Broadway on May 22, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Darren Aronofsky Made Requiem For A Dream All In Service Of A Single Scene
Darren Aronofsky’s 2000 addiction drama “Requiem for a Dream,” based on Hubert Selby Jr.'s 1978 novel, is a devastating, tragic scare film that lingers in our minds. While the filmmaker was drawn to the novel in general, he admitted that there was one scene in particular on which the entire film hinged — the red dress monologue.
To fit into a red dress for her appearance on her favorite game show, Sara (Ellen Burstyn) turns to diet pills, which are merely methamphetamine tablets, and soon becomes addicted. “For me, probably the reason I made the movie, was for that scene. The ‘red dress monologue,’ in which Harry visits his mother and realizes she is on uppers, is the devastating heart of the movie,” said Aronofsky.
Aronofsky worried that a scene of two people sitting at a kitchen table would be uninteresting — but his fear was unfounded, as Burstyn gave such a striking, intense, sad performance that no additional visual dynamism was necessary. The filmmaker said, “I can’t say I remember how Ellen got there, but something triggered for her in that sequence that was just remarkable.”